A Musical Timeline

???? What did early residents of this area sing & play ?
1380 The choir roof of the Abbey, along with the nave & transepts are wrecked by a great fire, the subsequent repairs covering a period of 16 years.
???? There must be some information available about this 446 year gap !
1826 David Carnegie, authour of 'Lays & Lyrics From The Factory' is born in East Mill Wynd.
1829 Judy Garland's great grandfather, Charles Milne, is born in Arbroath.
1852 (Sep 2) James Durward Lyall is born in Arbroath.
1854 Isabella Urquhart MacLeod McLennan is born in Arbroath. She will be Harry Lauder's mother.
1856 A flute band plays & a dinner party held on board when the largest ship ever built in Arbroath, the 800 ton 'Neville', is launched.
1861 David Carnegie's 'Lays & Lyrics from the Factory' is published.
1865 The Public Hall ( later named the Webster Hall ), containing a large concert hall & public meeting place, is built on High Street.
1870 Isabella Urquhart MacLeod McLennan gives birth to Harry Lauder.
1874 An organ is built within the Public Hall, High Street.
1875 St Vigeans Kirk has a 'Harrison' organ installed.
1878 Under the stage name 'Signor Leli', James Durward Lyall joins the Mapleson Opera Company as Don Jose in 'Carmen'.
1879 An enlarged edition of David Carnegie's 'Lays & Lyrics from the Factory' is published, containing most of his poems.
1880 'Signor Leli' joins the D'Oyly Carte Opera Co. & plays 'Frederic' in 'The Pirates of Penzance'. He adopts the name Durward Lely for life & stage.
1881 'Durward Lely' becomes principal tenor of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company & performs in 'Patience'.
1882 'Durward Lely' performs in 'Iolanthe'.
1882 Harry Lauder's family come to live for two years in Arbroath where he appears on stage for the first time.
1884 'Durward Lely' performs in 'Princess Ida', The Sorcerer' & 'Trial By Jury'.
1885 'Durward Lely' performs in 'The Mikado'.
1885 T. Booth is selling organs & harmoniums at 5 Hill Street.
1887 'Durward Lely' performs in 'Ruddygore'.
1890 The old Inverbrothock Free Church on James Street re-opens as the 'New Victoria Hall'.
1890-93 'Durward Lely' tours America with Adelina Patti.
1893 The Arbroath Instrumental Band is formed.
1901 The 'New Victoria Hall' becomes the 'Arbroath Theatre'.
1902 A ring of five tubular bells is installed to join the heritors bell in St Vigeans Kirk.
1903 The Arbroath Musical society is established.
1903 The 'Arbroath Theatre' becomes the 'New Theatre' and then 'St James Theatre'.
1909 The 'St James Theatre' becomes the 'Arbroath Picture Hall'.
1912 Doo's Hall on the corner of Panmure Street & Park Street is in use as a theatre.
1914 'The Palace' in James Street is demolished & replaced by the 'New Palace'.
1915 Montrose's Violet Jacob writes the poem 'I Saw The Wild Geese Flee'. 70 years later, Jim Reid adds melody to produce an unforgettable song.
1918 The Public Hall is gifted to the people of Arbroath. It will become known as the Webster Memorial Hall.
1926 The first Arbroath & District Musical Festival. Andrew Morrison (violin) wins the 'British Industries Challenge Cup' (later the 'Blue Riband').
1933 Andy Stewart is born in Glasgow. He will be educated in Arbroath & become an internationally recognised Scottish entertainer.
1937-38 The Marine Ballroom opens on Hill Road.
1939 The 'New Palace' on James Street is demolished.
1930s & 1940s The Arbroath Follies are a popular summer entertainment.
1940 The 'New Palace' is built on James Street.
1944 'Durward Lely' ( James Durward Lyall ) dies in Glasgow.
1947 Morris Pert is born in Arbroath. He will become an internationally respected composer & percussionist & work with many major rock musicians.
1950s ' Der Scorpions ' skiffle group, including Ian 'Smokie' Gray, is formed.
1957 In Winnipeg, Canada, Pipe Major Robert Fraser from Arbroath forms the 'Lord Selkirk Boy Scout Pipe Band'.
1958 A bandstand (like a half golf ball) opens in Springfield Park.
1958 The Alexander Brothers have their first professional engagement at the Webster Hall.
1959 Arbroath Amateur Operatic Society's production of ' Oklahoma ! ' is presented in the Webster Hall.
1960 The White Heather Club, starring Andy Stewart, begins on STV.
1960 A Royal Marines Band is formed at HMS Condor where it will remain for ten years.
1960s 'The Arbroath Reivers' are a thriving folk group (Jim Hutchison, Ken Powrie & Chuck Jackson). Jim and Ken develop solo acts in 1969.
1961 Rocker Gene Vincent performs at the 'Palais de Danse'.
1961 The Webster Hall features it's first 'Black & White Minstrels' show.
1963 Abbey Theatre is founded.
1964 (Jan 4) Abbey Theatre present their first production : ' The Four Poster '.
1960s Andy Webster & Janet Perkins are performing around the Angus folk clubs.
1965 The Newgate Inn host 'The Swinging Blue Jeans' & 'Peter & Gordon'.
1966 John Knox (vocals) and Ray Stewart (banjo, mandolin) form a folk duo.
1966 Kenny Ball's Jazzmen play at the Marine Ballroom.
1967 George S. Shepherd & Ruby Melvin record the 45 r.p.m. ' The Auld Boulzie Hill / Twa Worthies O' The Toun O' Arbroath'. Accompaning musicians are - Nita Craig (piano) - John McIlroy (Accordian) - David Ramsay (Guitar).
1967 The Webster Hall, featuring a different show every night during the summer season, present Archie Fisher, Johnny Geddes, Hamish Imlach, Chic Murray & Jimmy Shand amongst the acts.
1968 Eric Wilthill (guitar / vocals) from Norway, joins John Knox & Ray Stewart to form 'The Gaugers' folk trio.
1969 Ian Gray becomes resident artiste / compere at the Montrose Folk Club.
1960s (late) ' Kishmal's Plankton ' (Danny Martin - guitar/banjo/mandolin and Stan Davidson are Abbey Folk Club regulars.
1969 Eric Wilthill leaves 'The Gaugers'.
1970 (Oct) The Webster Theatre opens.
1970s (early) Andy Webster & Janet Perkins team up with Trevor Williams & Nick Hunter to form ' The Locrian Mode '.
1972 ' The Gaugers ' are augmented by Jamie Hutchison.
1972 ' The Folk & Blues Sextet ' , including Ian 'Smokie' Gray is up & running.
1972 'Durin's Bane' are Danny Martin (Mand./ Gtr. / Tenor & G Banjo / Fiddle), Neil Ritchie & Terry Moug, sometimes with Kevin Moug & Stan Davidson
1973 ' Deep End ' (who had started as 'Keel Row') were Jim Hutcheson, George Cant, & John Masterson.
1974 ' Deep End ' win Grampian TV's 'Open Camera' talent contest & in Sept. appear in BBC's 'Songs Of Praise' from the outdoor swimming pool. They also have some success on Hughie Greene's TV talent show ' Opportunity Knocks '.
1976 Jim Reid & Foundry Bar musicians enter & win the Ceilidh Band competition at the Kinross Festival - the birth of The Foundry Bar Band.
1977 the Arbroath Choral Society is founded.
1979 Minor chart band 'After The Fire' play at the Condor Club.
1981 The Foundry Bar Band produce their first ( self titled ) album.
1981 STV's ' Thingummyjig ' features Arbroath group ' Deep End ' ( Jim Hutcheon, George Cant & John Masterson ).
1982 'The Eternal', an '80s 'Synth Band', is formed in Arbroath by Gary Callon, Ritchie Allan & Dougie Main.
1982 Abbey Music open their first musical instrument shop in Guthrie Port.
1983 'Runrig' play 'Smokie's' nightclub.
1984 Jim Reid & Foundry Bar Band members record the classic album ' I Sa' The Wild Geese Flee ', Violet Jacob's wonderful poem transformed into the unforgettable ' Norland Wind '. Also included is a humorous parody on McCartney's 'Mull of Kintyre', under the title 'The Foundry Bar'. Musicians present are - Bob Dewers (accordian) - Chae Geddes (fiddle) - Sandy Beattie (double bass).
1985 The editor records the unreleased ' I Can't Go Home '.
1988 Ally Bally of Radio Tay opens ' Bally's Night Club ' in what had been ' Smokey's '.
1988 ' Reform Club ', a progression of ' The Eternal ', is formed.
1989 Freddie & The Dreamers play ' Bally's Night Club '.
1989 The first ' Jazz at Hospitalfield ' is presented.
1992 The ' Palace ' building on James Street is demolished.
1993 'Club Metro' (previously ' Bally's ') opens.
1993 Andy Stewart, internationally loved Scottish entertainer, dies in Arbroath , the funeral service taking place in St Andrews Church, Hamilton Green.
1998 'The Waterfront' opens.
1998 ' Malinky ' are formed, including Arbroath folk musician Steve Byrne in their line up.
1999 Michael Robertson is appointed musical director of the Arbroath Instrumental Band.
1999 The pedal pipework from the Arbroath Parish Church organ is 'transplanted' into the organ of Carnoustie Parish Church.
2000 (Nov) George S. Shepherd dies.
2001 Arbroath's Steve Byrne is a finalist in 'Young Traditional Musician Of The Year'.
2003 (early) ' Picture This ! ', ( Tracy, Rod & Kenny ), a wedding / function band, are formed.
2004 (Mar) Arbroath Instrumental Band take 4th place in the 1st section at the Scottish Championships in Motherwell.
2004 Arbroath Piper Gordon Bruce performs at ' T In The Park ', accompanying 'The Darkness' & performing a pipe solo finale before 45,00 rock fans.
2004 (Aug) The Smokie Blues Bonanza is organised by Alfie Dickenson - 9 venues - 15 bands.
2005 (April 1-6) Monifieth composer & violinist Laura McGhee performs beside the Statue of Liberty in New York ' The Declaration ' from her 'Arbroath Suite' for the imminent 'Tartan Day'. On her return she performs the suite within the walls of Arbroath Abbey.
2005 Arbroath's ' Black & White Minstrels ' bow to political correctness and re-name themselves ' The Angus Minstrels '.
2005 'All Wings Down', an indie rock band, is formed by Owen Simpson, Liam Davies, Luke Kingham, Jamie Mayes & Gavin Bird.
2005 Gordon Bruce accompanies Jim Wallace MSP to China where he plays the pipes on it's Great Wall.
2005 (?) 'Omar', punk / hardcore band is formed - Dave Gourlay - Darren Craig - Graham Cargill - Kieran McNairn.
2005 (Aug 14) Pavel Andoga from the Czech Republic wins a spot on the ' Breath of Scotland ' show after playing piano in Abbey Music shop.
2005 (Aug) 'Smokie Blues' is now a ' Festival ' and promotes 32 acts in 15 venues. Those featured include Spike Drivers & Steve Arvey from Chicago.
2006 (Feb 1) Steve Byrne's ' Songs From Home ' is released.
2006 (Apr 6) The evening of Declaration Day ( 'Tartan Day ') finds traditional music being played across the town.
2006 (April) 'Frozen Fear' is formed by Adam, Owen, Jack, Mitch & Aiden.
2006 (May) The Webster Hall closes for major refurbishment - perhaps until January 2008.
2006 (Jun) Morna Brown is appointed president of the Arbroath Musical Society for the period 2006-2008.
2006 (Jul) Music ranging from karaoke to glam rock delivered by ' Extra Sweet ' adds to the atmosphere of ' Tutties in the Park Gala Day '.
2006 ' The Black Doves ' rock duo is formed by two 14 year olds - Dean Cargill & Jamie Black.
2007 The third ' Smokie Blues Festival ' is cancelled when council funding is deferred.
2007 'The Trybe' from Stonehaven perform for foreign Consuls General at the Abbey (Mar), at the Abbey Pageant (April 6) and at Sea Fest (Aug 25-26).
2007 (Jul 13) 'Smokie Blues ' host a blues / rock special in the Panmure Hall, Hill Street with Li'l Jimmy Reed, The Tracy Conover Band & Wolftrain.
2007 (Jul) As part of the 'Hairst' traditional music summer sessions, 'Angus Folk' & Nigel Jelks perform outside the Public Library.
2007 (Jul 28/29) 'Rosely Ceilidh Band' entertain at Arbroath's first Fish & Farmer's Market.
2007 (Aug 25/26) The Bell Rock Blues Festival features 14 acts in 15 venues across the town.
2007 (Sep 6) Ian ' Smokie ' Gray, well loved Arbroath Folk Club member and script writer for the famous characters in ' The Beano ', dies.
2007 (Sep 13) David Ramsay produces CD of songs & poems about past life & work in Catterline near Stonehaven, recorded live at the 'Creel Inn'.
2007 (Sep) 'All Wings Down' line up is now: Owen Simpson, Jamie Mayes, Sean Rennie, Gavin Bird & Scott Martin.
2008 (Aug 3) Arbroath born Karen Cargill performs on BBC4's 'Proms 2008'.
2008 (Aug 16) Dave Ramsay & guests perform & record 'Aberbrothock 1320' at Hospitalfield House.
2008 (Nov 8) 'Songs Of A Rocky Coast' are performed by Dave Ramsay, John Knox, Ray Milne, Sandy Petrie, Derek Robertson & Maureen Morrison & recorded live at Hospitalfield House.
2008 (Dec 7) Arbroath Choral Society's 30th Christmas Concert takes place at Arbroath West Kirk.
2008 (Dec 14) Arbroath Male Voice Choir, accompanist Laura Stallerbrass, Arbroath Instrumental Band, soprano Darcy Spiller & choir director Helen Addison perform at the Concert for Christmas in John Knox's Church, Cairnie Street.
2009 (Apr 3) Arbroath Male Voice Choir celebrate it's 75th anniversary with a Webster Theatre concert - guests: Cheryl Forbes & Gordon Cree.
2009 (end Aug) The Viewfield Hotel closes, depriving local Rock bands of an Arbroath venue to showcase their talents.
2010 (May 21) Quiver & The Lady Snatchers release their new EP with a gig in 'Dexters', Dundee.
2010 (Jul 1) The Black Doves release their album 'Jack And The Box', available as downloads or from Abbey Music.
2010 (Apr 27) Arbroath born musician & composer Morris Pert dies aged 62 at Balchrick, Sutherland.
2010 (Nov 6) Morris Pert's ashes are interred at the Western Cemetery, Arbroath. Within St Vigeans Church a recital of his compositions including 'The Drostan Stone' and 'Two Epitaphs From Arbroath Abbey' is given by Chloe Foston and Mark Spalding.
2011 (Jan 15) Arbroath's Edward Cairney, composer of new music for Robert Burns' work, plays a selection of songs at Hospitalfield House.
2011 (Apr 27) A lecture and recital on the musical achievement of Morris Pert is given at Hospitalfield House.

Signor Leli

Andy Webster

Harry Lauder


Andy Stewart


Foundry Bar Band


Picture This !

Jim Reid

Reform Club

The Eternal

Angus Minstrels

Deep End

Deep September

All Wings Down

David Ramsay

Rosely Ceilidh Band

Morna Brown

Michael Robertson

Geo. S. Shepherd

Smokie Blues

Bell Rock Blues

Frozen Fear

Nita Craig

Gordon Bruce

Third Floor Incident

Arbroath British Legion Pipe Band


Arbroath Folk Club

Arbroath Choral Society

Arbroath Amateur Operatic Society


John McIlroy

Black Doves

The Arbroath Instrumental Band

Karen Cargill

Steve Byrne

The Gaugers

Smokey Folk

Durin's Bane

The Locrian Mode

Kishmal's Plankton

John Knox

Ray Milne

Sandy Petrie

Derek Robertson

Maureen Morrison

Quiver & The Lady Snatchers

Black Watch Terrritorial Pipe Band

 Mark Spalding

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.

Get Flash Player